12 April 2017
Overlook the cliché and embrace the emotion in No Human Is Illegal, says Florence Bell
Where Say It Loud discusses the refugee crisis on a level of political activism, No Human discusses the refugee crisis on an emotional level.
The sound cues are the epitome of unsubtle and the choreography is really clichéd, especially in the early scenes where the ensemble moves as a group. The actors aren’t afraid to (literally) throw themselves into it, and it works best when their movements link up to words: after one member of the company reads out the definition of “migration” from a dictionary, the whole group hold their hands out as if holding books, then slowly transition into moving their hands in wing-like motions.
But it’s on an emotional level where this piece really succeeds. The use of flags to illustrate to the audience where each member of the ensemble comes from is a genius idea. This isn’t a pontification on what we all must do as a society, but an exploration of the realisation of the world we’re living in.
The intersection of a party scene with images of horror (dead bodies floating in water, babies being pulled out of rubble) is intensely powerful. These are images that might appear on the 10 o’clock news. A show that deals with information consumption and how we get our information on the refugee crisis offers the audience a tangible reality from the offset. There are people dying and we’re at NSDF. We get PARTY // death // PARTY // death.
So, in summary: not perfect, but it made me cry.
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Photo credit: Aenne Pallasca